Monday, June 29, 2009

Luther and Isaiah

" This passage ( Is. 52:13 -
Is. 53: 12) is considered the
most magnificent chapters
in all the Bible. Martin Luther
wrote that this passage " ought
to be written on parchment
of gold and lettered in diamonds,"
and then memorized by every
Christian." Mike Ross from
50 Days of Prayer for the PCA

Very convicting this morning.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


"Only the words of forgiveness , utterly
stripped down to the core of faith, can
echo the timeless, ot the timeful*,
promise of Easter morning."

Timeful: I want to thank Dr. Tim Keller for suggesting the use of this term at the IAM lecture in SoHo in 1998.

Makoto Fujimura
A Journey in Faith, Art and Culture

Going blueberry picking .
Be back on the weekend.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The mailman

I caught the mailman as he
returned back up the other side
of our street to post a letter.
I had put a tea scene on the back.
He said "You are just like my
wife. She even makes envelopes
out of magazines!" I told him I
would like her. He smiled "YOU
would!" That reminded me of
Beatrix Potter in her book of letters
trying to meet Charles Macintosh
who was a renown fungi expert AND
the mailman who walked 15 miles a
day in Scotland on her summer vacations
of 11 consecutive years.
She wanted to show him her watercolors
of mushrooms. A nice relationship
transposed and he is Mr. McGregor
in Peter Rabbit!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Do the next thing that is next

My dear friend ,who I teach with,
used this poem as part of a
graduation speech on Friday night:

The First Proclamation
by Margaret Preston

"Ho, Rose!" quoth the stout Miles Standish,
as he stood on the Mayflower's deck.....

"What say you to landing , sweetheart,
And having a washing-day?"

"Dear heart"--and the sweet Rose Standish
Looked up with a tear in her eye;
She was back in the flag-stoned kitchen
Where she watched, in the days gone by;

Her mother among her maidens
(She should watch them no more, alas!)
And saw as they stretched the linen
To bleach on the Suffolk grass.

"Do the thing that is next,"saith the proverb,
And a nobler shall yet succeed:
'Tis the motive exalts the action;
'Tis the doing, and not the deed;

From the earliest act of the heroes
Whose fame has a world-wide sway
Was --- to fashion a crane for a kettle,
And order a washing day!

Going through my mind: Do the
thing that is next! Today that
is laundry and weeding!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Speaking of Notes in the Mail

lovely notecard
came in the mail
right after the
wedding. It is the
front door of the
church, taken
by my dear friend.
Post-wedding thoughts!
I was so touched because it looks like
it could be in England or Italy
but it's right here in NC. I also had
a cup of Kenya tea from her trip last
Spring. She walked to the teafields.
I'm so thankful for this friend.
So as I was organizing my stash of
notecards and things to make notecards
today, the full bodied tea was a welcome
companion reminding me of the

Cleaning out

Edgar Degas - Three Women Combing
Their Hair 1875-76

Found this painting amidst cleaning
out my cabinets that hold stationary
and such. Such was two small books
that were free from the Mint Museum
on a homeschool day a few years ago.
Two on Edgar Degas.
There in the midst of cleaning and
organizing , I start to make notecards.
Who can resist with the small book
that could be taken apart and used.
Used to bless.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Finishing a good book, getting a good book

I finished A Momentary Marriage
by John Piper yesterday. Excellent.
Today Makoto Fujimura's book
Refractions came in the mail-

I seem to ingesting this book.
Besides an incredible artist who
is living out his faith through
art , he is an excellent writer about
grace. Tim Keller writes the
forward. Sample reading above
on the title!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Henry Tanner

The Banjo Lesson

We studied this painting for
Picture Study at the conference.
Henry Tanner : 1859-1937
He faced tremendous odds and
overcame them through his faith
in Christ. I don't know of many
artists who did that. This hangs
in Hampton,VA at the university.
It reminds me of Vermeer. Light
comes in from a window and a fire-
place, warming the grandfather
as he passes down music to his
grandson. The safest place is in
his lap. I can hear the banjo playing
and the grandfather's voice saying
"that's right , you got it!" Notice the
pitcher in the background and bread
on a beautiful table cloth.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I'm looking forward to this
next week as summer arrives
and with it is TIME. Unscheduled
time after a wonderful conference
that needs to have reflection and
simmering so the ideas will transform
me deeply. I roomed with a friend's
mother who is my age. She told me she
wakes early in the summer to hear
the world wake up..........the birds,
the ground hog,
and then at night
the night sounds
fill the darkness , almost keeping it
awake. She lives far up in the
Appalachian Mts. Listen ....
and be thankful as Whitefoot was in
Wendell Berry's book:

"Her sleep was an act of faith and a giving of thanks." ~p. 21

I joined The Gratitude Community
and will continue to post my
giving of thanks!
I will share the tiny
details during the conference of God's
presence. I will call them Parking
Spot answers! ( to come)

I started reading this book:

This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


from Brooklyn.

Music as you read the net

I don't have music that comes
on when you click to my blog.
Not sure even how to do that.
I could be like Wendell Berry
and not have a computer BUT
I can't. I don't even want to try.
But here's some good music to
listen to as you read ....

Josh Groban

and another by this young man.
I danced with Bryan to this and
it brought tears to both of us.

And a great version of My
Funny Valentine by Over the
Rhine. Emma and I try to sing
the long , raspy notes Karin hits.
You'll fall in love all over
again just listening. Great lyrics.
It's on Drunkard's Prayer CD:
( from the liner)

But a few months into our national tour, Karin and I realized that although good things were happening with our music, there was just very little energy or creativity or time left over for our marriage, and it was taking a toll on us. I think we had to learn that putting a long-term relationship on autopilot indefinitely can be dangerous if not fatal. We decided we had to pull the plug on the tour and go home and figure out if being together was something we were still committed to.

We opted to start over, reinvent our own relationship, dig deep and do the homework to see if we could make our marriage sing. We decided to redirect the same thought and energy, that we had been putting into writing and performing, toward our life at home together. We prayed alot. Our friends prayed alot. It was the beginning of a wonderful new chapter for us. And hopefully, some of what we’ve learned has not only made us better people, but better songwriters as well.

Born - When we came home from the tour,
we bought two cases of wine and decided
we were going to put a bottle on the kitchen
table every evening and start talking until
nothing was left. The idea was not to get
drunk, but to talk face to face deep into the night.

Drunkard’s Prayer - Everybody wants to be
drunk on the good stuff--drunk on life, love,
music, the wine of God and what not. In the
New Testament, when the believers were first
filled with the Holy Spirit and started speaking
in tongues, the onlookers thought they were
drunk. It takes some of that same holy
foolhardiness to attempt to be an artist,
a lover, a true friend, an adopted child of God.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Getting ready to go to this

Another June that has gotten
here so fast that I hardly know
what has happened in a year.
This year's Childlight USA Conf.
is "For the Beauty of the Earth."
It makes my insides tingle!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Christmas in Larkrise to Candleford

Quite fun to watch this
Christmas episode of
Larkrise to Candleford.'
The BBC did a delightful
holiday episode with the
main characters altogether
as the holidays approach.
There's a twist of ghostliness
to it which makes you look
at the person next to you in
wonder at WHAT is happening.
It's just like those in the hamlet
and town.

It felt a bit cold outside in

Saturday, June 6, 2009


"Beauty is there to be noticed. Too often it is taken for granted because we are moving too fast to let it in and allow it to deliver its message in us. We need to pay attention. To show indifference to beauty is an insult to its Creator." Luci Shaw, from The Christian Imagination

Friday, June 5, 2009

Great ART

The best artists are worth a trip
to see. That is what happened today.
We went in the rain down to
Columbia Museum of Art in SC
to see the Turner to Cezanne exhibit
that is there until Sunday from
Wales. Extraordinary what two
wealthy women, the Davies Sisters,
bought from the artists and then
gave to the Museum of Wales. Three
Monets at the end were stunning.
The colors stopped you and you had
to stare and walk close and stand back.
I've seen The Water Lilies in France
and one of his many, many were there.
The Van Gogh was the same. Much
prettier in person. Millet and Turner
were excellent and a few unknowns
to me that I will blog on later. Down-
stairs in their permanent collection
was Boticelli and one near it of
Jesus' Immaculate Conception.
That one is one to study more and
blog on. A morning in Florence,
well, almost, just over the border
to a neighboring state!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What I will see tomorrow

Van Gogh painted Rain Auvers a few
weeks before his suicide.

La Parrisienne, Renoir

Claude Monet, Waterlilies, 1906,

Winter, the Faggot Gatherers
Jean Francoise Millet

Seated Shephardess, Millet

Stones of Marriage

"It was as though grace and peace
were bestowed on them out of the
sanctity of marriage itself, which
simply furnished them to one
another, free and sufficient, as
rain to leaf. It was as if they were
not making marriage but being
made by it, and, while it held them,
time and their lives flowed over them,
like swift water over stones,
rubbing them together,
grinding off their edges,
making them fit together,
in the only way that fragments
can be rejoined.

From Remembering by Wendell

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

FIDELITY - Five Stories by Wendell Berry

Fidelity : Loyalty, faithfulness, adherence to
truth observance of the marriage contract.

Five stories on the subject. Wendell Berry
does what Flannery O'Connor said when
asked about the meaning of her stories, she
answered " If I could tell you the meaning,
I wouldn't have written the story." Berry
never uses the title in any of the 5 short
stories, but those synonyms are all over the
characters and the themes. I finished the
book this morning.

"Josie Tom was a plumb, pretty, happy
woman, childless but the mother of any
child in reach. Mary Penn loved her the
best, perhaps, she loved them all. They
were only in their late thirties or early
forties,but to Mary they seemed to belong
to the ageless, eternal generation of mothers,
unimaginably older and more
experienced than herself. She called them
Miss Josie, Miss Daisy, and Miss Thelma.
They warmed and sheltered her. Sometimes
she could have tossed herself at them like
a girl to be hugged. "

"She and Elton has married a year and
a half earlier, when she was seventeen
and he eighteen. She had never seen anyone
like him. He had a wild way of rejoicing,
like a healthy child, singing songs, joking,
driving his old car as if he were
drunk and the road not wide enough.
He could make her weak with laughing at
him. And yet, he was already a man as few
men were. He had been making his own
living since he was fourteen,
when he quit school............He wanted,
he said, to say thank you to nobody. Or,
to nobody but her. He would be glad, he
said with a large grin, to say thank you
to her. It was wonderful what he could
accomplish with those enormous hands
of his. She could have put her hand into
his and walked off the edge of the world.
Which, in a way, is what she did."

From A Jonquil for Mary Penn, one of the stories.

Monday, June 1, 2009

June's Morning

Just from Gen 1:5 ,Spurgeon took
and pierced my heart:

"The evening and the morning were the first day."

WAS it so even in the beginning? Did light and darkness divide the realm of time in the first day? Then little wonder is it if I have also changes in my circumstances from the sunshine of prosperity to the midnight of adversity. It will not always be the blaze of noon even in my soul concerns; I must expect at seasons to mourn the absence of my former joys, and seek my Beloved in the night. Nor am I alone in this, for all the Lord’s beloved ones have had to sing the mingled song of judgment and of mercy, of trial and deliverance, of mourning and of delight. It is one of the arrangements of divine Providence that day and night shall not cease, either in the spiritual or natural creation, till we reach the land of which it is written, “There is no night there.” What our heavenly Father ordains is wise and good.

What then, my soul, is it best for thee to do?

Learn first to be content with his divine order, and be willing with Job to receive evil from the hand of the Lord as well as good.

Study next to make the outgoings of the morning and the evening to rejoice.

Praise the Lord for the sun of joy when it rises, and for the gloom of evening as it falls. There is beauty both in sunrise and sunset; sing of it, and glorify the Lord. Like the nightingale, pour forth thy notes at all hours. Believe that the night is as useful as the day. The dews of grace fall heavily in the night of sorrow. The stars of promise shine forth gloriously amid the darkness of grief. Continue thy service under all changes. If in the day thy watchword be labor, at night exchange it for watch. Every hour has its duty; do thou continue in thy calling as the Lord’s servant until He shall suddenly appear in his glory. My soul, thine evening of old age and death is drawing near; dread it not, for it is part of the day; and the Lord has said, “I will cover him all the day long.”